CRJS 373 : Prisons and Society

The course explores the far-reaching impacts of prisons on the community and society. The course explores the consequences of mass incarceration in the United States, not only for convicts currently in jail but also for ex-prisoners and families and communities who have committed no crimes. The course further considers the impact of mass imprisonment on democracy and whether incarceration's social costs have produced society's benefits in quality of life, safety, or justice.


(LIBR 150 may be taken concurrently).

Course Outcomes

After successfully completing the course, the learner will be able to:

  • Consider impacts of imprisonment on prisoners and ex-prisoners, in access to education, housing, welfare benefits, job training, employment opportunities, and basic human dignity.
  • Examine a range of issues concerning the effects of mass imprisonment on families and communities, such as the financial burden of maintaining family ties with a loved one in prison, the loss to communities deprived of the potential contributions of family supporting men and women, and the social impact of a whole generation of children whose parents are imprisoned.
  • Explore the impact of mass imprisonment on democracy through an examination of such polices as disenfranchisement for convicted felons.
  • Consider whether the social costs associated with mass incarceration have produced any benefit to society in quality of life, safety or justice.





CIP Code